Kobalt has promoted Alison Donald to Head of Global Creative, overseeing the independent rights management and music publishing company’s global creative team.
Donald previously oversaw Kobalt Music Publishing’s A&R and creative team in the UK and Europe, and AWAL’s UK and Europe creative team before its $430 million sale to Sony Music Entertainment in 2021.
In her new role, Donald will be based between London and Los Angeles.
She previously helped Kobalt’s UK and Europe creative teams sign marquee artists and songwriters such as Rex Orange County and Jungle to AWAL, as well as Mahalia, Sam Fender, Cigarettes after Sex, Koffee, Gabriels, Jade Bird, First Aid Kit, Nina Nesbitt and many more to publishing deals.
“With our amazing creative team, global outlook, and lack of borders, we are primed to take the company and our wonderful roster of artists and writers to new heights.”
Alison Donald, Kobalt
Joining Kobalt at the time reunited her with Sas Metcalfe, who recently stepped down as Chief Creative Officer of Kobalt.
Prior to her stint at Columbia, Donald was Managing Director of Chrysalis Music Publishing from 2000 to 2010. In that role, she signed and oversaw projects by the likes of Damon Albarn, Danger Mouse, The Gossip, Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling, Thom Yorke and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
“Alison is a creative force with stellar ears, great relationships, and a real gift for identifying and developing talent. She has been critical to the success of Kobalt’s songwriters.”
Jeannette Perez, Kobalt
From 1996 to 2000, Donald was Head of A&R at Warner/Chappell Music, where she signed The Strokes. Prior to her time at Warner/Chappell Music, Donald spent seven years at Capitol/EMI Records after being with Arista Records for over three decades.
Kobalt CEO Laurent Hubert described Donald as an accomplished A&R.
“If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Alison, you know her energy and passion are infectious. She is not only an accomplished A&R but an incredible leader and mentor to songwriters and A&Rs alike. I am excited to see her step into this role and build upon our award-winning publishing team.”
Kobalt President and COO Jeannette Perez, also commented on Donald’s promotion, saying: “Alison is a creative force with stellar ears, great relationships, and a real gift for identifying and developing talent. She has been critical to the success of Kobalt’s songwriters. I look forward to working alongside Alison in this next chapter as she leads our great global creative team.”
Donald says: “We are in exciting times at Kobalt and in music generally.”
“With our amazing creative team, global outlook, and lack of borders, we are primed to take the company and our wonderful roster of artists and writers to new heights. I want to thank Laurent and Jeannette for their support and belief.”
In an interview with Music Business UK in 2018, Donald says “Kobalt has changed the marketplace of publishing” as artists aren’t signed to long-term deals and can leave when they choose to.
“That means we have to provide good service, because otherwise they will leave, although I believe our retention rate is 98%,” Donald said at the time.
“We also have a global roster, so whether you are in LA, Stockholm, Hong Kong or Sydney, you are on Kobalt’s roster. I love that and think it’s really powerful. There is one global budget, so what is good for one is actually genuinely good for all.”
Music Business Worldwide